Thoughts on Films/Movies

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Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:29 pm

{{Wasn't really sure where to put this so made up a new topic- a place not to talk about specific films as such but about films as a medium in general, their making, concepts, appeal, whatever.

I was musing on the recent Tarantino/Thurman thing- where he got her against her better judgement to do a stunt that was dangerous and then she got hurt doing it- and was wondering when is the end product or the performance worth what the actor is sometimes put through?
Take Shelley Duvall for example in the Shining, by all accounts she had a horrible time- Kubrick constantly criticized her delivery and performance, and even way more than normal, even by Kubrick standards made her endure retake after retake. She was deliberately called out to set or exterior location shoots having got all into costume, only to be told after making her wait in the cold for a long time that the shot would be delayed and to return to her trailer. Whereupon after letting her get out of costume they would call her back again, sometimes this was more than once in a row.
All of it was to get out of her the performance Kubrick desired- he deliberately treated her poorly and harshly to the point where she suffered hair loss through stress whilst filming.
Yet her performance in the end is utterly believable in its levels of stress as a result- she didn't have so far to go to find what her character was enduring because she was enduring similar abuse from men every day all day at her place of work.
But it sure worked for the film. Her performance is part of the reason its considered a horror masterpiece. But does that justify it?

edit add- just found this brief but gives the general idea Cracked vid on the matter



Or perhaps the Exorcist, where in order to get the right shocked and startled sudden look on his lead actors face the Director fired  a shotgun off right behind him, leaving him with minor, but permanent hearing damage in one ear. He certainly gives the right reaction to the scene in the finished film- but was it worth it?

And these are two small examples of where a director has deliberately made his actors suffer in order to get a particular response and performance from them, it is not it seems that uncommon.

And in our current age where such things could probably ruin a career via social media outrage, are such deliberately 'stressed' yet powerful performances a thing of film passed? And is that a good bad thing? }}}

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by halfwise on Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:36 pm

Peter Jackson wore Miranda Otto out in the scene between Eowyn and the Witch King, saying "exhaustion is temporary, cellulose is forever". But that's a different level.

We have many method actors putting themselves through hell, nobody worries about it because it's their choice. I think if a director discusses it with the actor before hand they could get the same result with less emotional trauma.

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Forest Shepherd on Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:58 pm

I think it's usually called celluloid, but maybe that's the name for it down in New Zealand.

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:08 pm

As Laurence Olivier famously said to Dustin Hoffman when they were filming the Marathon Man “My dear boy, why don’t you try acting?” Razz

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:59 pm

{{ Ah yes, a great quote, but that's more like the cases Halfy mentioned with method actors- they do that to themselves and choose to suffer for their art- but what about being made to suffer for your art when you dont make the choice, or may not even know its being done to you? Is it still ok for the art? }}}

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:23 pm

I guess I would say it is all a matter of degrees, when you work with certain directors, I am sure their methods are quite well known in the industry. Obviously to work through prior consent is the best approach, but perhaps in some situations it is okay to do certain things, within limits, to get an effect? Shrugging Giving someone permanent hearing damage goes far well and beyond anything that would be acceptable though, probably is distinctly legally iffy too.

And, I guess they could still go for the just acting approach. Razz

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 pm

{{{ The tricky bit is defining those limits- in the case of Duvall she was deliberately harassed, bullied, criticized and generally treated appealingly on set (her place of work) to the point her hair was coming out from the stress- yet Kubrick is considered a movie genius and getting those performances out of his actors is considered a part of that genius (which is not just allowing for such methods, but actively praising them and even rewarding them with awards).
The popularity and critical acclaim of the film it seems to me overwrites whatever means where used to create it.
- to give another example the famous car chase scene in Bullit- it had appalling safety- only two cops to close of and keep the public out of harms way, when a five year old child nearly ran out in front of the cars they opted for using film extras to try to keep the area safe- hardly good. And the actors, though willing were also put at great risk- the shot where they hurtle down the hills at 100mph was so severe the car was literally shaking itself apart, the actor had almost no control left over it and was being thrown about like a pea in a can and could do little more than hang on and hope.
Yet it is rightly credited as being probably the greatest car chase on film.
Yet given the worst case scenario it could be remembered for killing a five year old and its lead actor!

And yet perhaps without such an approach those sort of on the edge performances might be a lot rarer in film, and many of them are in classic, popular or very famous films, like the Shining or Bullit or the Exorcist. }}

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by halfwise on Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:22 pm

This is skittering close to the fact that a lot of what we know about the human body's response to extreme cold and hypothermia came from Nazi experiments.

There's a lot of grey, but I'd say life-threatening when not with the actor's full consent has crossed the line. Back up from there and see how far you are willing to go.

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:14 pm

I think bullying is a step way too far, as is damaging someone's metal and physical health. if however the actor wants to starve himself or go the extra mile for a role, then that's their choice. there is no excuse for bullying. as Blue said, 'try acting.'

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Re: Thoughts on Films/Movies

Post by azriel on Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:51 pm

I agree Figgs but, its the lure of fame & good money I think that decides a person for them. Ive heard of actors starving to skin & bone for a part & in the next film piling on pounds to be a chunk. I don't think statements like " you wanted to be an actor so...." cuts it. I'm now wondering if the publics demand for convincing & honest accounts are adding to the strain of "I must do this or I must do that " ? Dunno. I'm sure back in the early days of cinema there were many stories of bullying that have gone quietly untold. These days actors can not only shine on the big screen but have a moment of fame in the media when one does a "cry all" story.

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